Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted slightly, from Alton Brown, Food Network.
• 1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
• 2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
• 2 1/2 tsp. chile powder
• 1 c. chicken broth
• 1 (28-oz.) can tomato sauce (about 3 c.)
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
• 1 1/2 c. diced onion
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 12 (6-in.) corn tortillas
• 3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or about 12 oz. queso fresco, divided
• Nonstick cooking spray
Toast cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant.
Combine cumin seeds, chiles, 3 garlic cloves, chile powder, chicken broth, tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken until cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat onions for 4 to 6 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove and oregano, and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from heat.
Spray a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, dip them in sauce and repeat layers with chicken and cheese, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly.